1. Navigating OJS

Open Journal Systems has been designed as a multi-journal system which can host any number of journals on a single installation. Visitors have access to overall site-level pages, and can navigate to any journals' individual pages from the site's home page.

Figure 2.1. Example Multi-Journal Site Page

Example Multi-Journal Site Page

The system can also be set up to redirect visitors to a single journal, which is helpful if the site is only hosting one journal.

You will see a list of all the journals on the system from the site-level main page, and can visit a journal by clicking on the View Journal link.

Figure 2.2. Example Journal Page

Example Journal Page

To navigate back to the Site level, you can click the Other Journals link on the right navigation bar (in the Journal Content section, under Browse).

1.1. Common Interface Elements

You will find a number of common interface elements at the Site and Journal levels of any default OJS system.

1.1.1. The Top Navigation Bar

The topmost navigation bar includes Home, About, Login, Register and Search links. If you are logged in, the Login and Register links are replaced with a User Home link.

Figure 2.3. Top Navigation Bar, Site-level and Not Logged In

Top Navigation Bar, Site-level and Not Logged In

Figure 2.4. Top Navigation Bar, Site-level and Logged In

Top Navigation Bar, Site-level and Logged In

  • The Home link takes you to the site homepage if you are navigating at the site-level; if you are looking at a journal, it will take you to the journal's homepage.

  • If you are browsing at the site level, the About link takes you to the site's About page, which may include a description of the site as a whole, and also includes links to the About pages for every journal on the system. If you are browsing at the journal level, clicking the About link will take you to that journal's About page only.

  • If you click the Login link you will be taken to a login page, where you will be asked to provide your username and password. You will also be prompted to register with the site if you are not a user. If you have forgotten your password, you can click Forgot Your Password? to begin the retrieval process. If you log in from the site level, you will be taken to your site-wide User Home page, which provides information on which journals you are registered with, and in which role. If you log in from the journal level, you will be taken to your journal-specific User Home page, which lists only role information regarding that journal.

  • If you click the Register link while browsing at the site level, you will be asked to choose a journal to register with. If you click the Register link while browsing at the journal level, you will be presented with a registration form, or a message stating that registrations are not being accepted at this time if registration has been disabled.

  • Clicking the Search link will bring you to a comprehensive search page. If you are currently browsing at the site level, you will be able to choose whether to search across all journals on the site, or only againt a particular journal. If you are browsing at the journal level, your search will only be perfomed against that journal's contents.

  • If you have already logged in, you will see a User Home link rather than the Login and Register links. Clicking this will take you to your site- or journal-specific User Home page.

1.1.2. The Breadcrumb

Directly under the topmost navigation bar you will find a series of breadcrumb links, one for the the site- or journal-level homepage, and one for each subpage that you have navigated to, culminating on one for the page you are on, which is highlighted in bold. Each link will bring you back to that specific subpage.

Figure 2.5. The Breadcrumb

The Breadcrumb

In this example, the Editor is viewing the Editing page for Submission #3. You can return to any of these pages by clicking the relevant breadcumb link.

1.1.3. The Sidebar

The right sidebar actually consists of a set of "blocks", described below.


By default, these sidebar blocks are placed on the right. However, a Journal Manager can move any of these blocks to the left to create a new sidebar, and can also prevent any block from displaying entirely. The Journal Manager can also reorder the vertical position of these blocks. For more information on arranging blocks, see the section on Journal Setup Step 5.6. Journal Managers can also create their own blocks, enter any content they wish, and add them to the sidebar. For more information, see the section on System Plugins.

Figure 2.6. The Sidebar

The Sidebar

  • The "Developed By" block at the very top of the navigation bar provides a link to the Public Knowledge Project website.

  • The "Journal Help" block provides a link to the system's context-sensitive help. No matter where you are in the system, you can click this link to access help specific to the matter at hand.

  • The "User" block provides useful user-specific information and options. If you have not logged in, you can enter your username and password information to log in. If you have logged in, it displays your username, and provides links to journals you have registered with; to your profile; and to log out.

  • The "Language" block only appears if there is more than one language installed on the system or for the particular journal you are browsing. You can toggle between these languages by choosing from the dropdown menu.

  • The "Journal Content" block allows you to search journal content. You can search all fields, or you can pick a particular field (for example, authors) to search against. If you are browsing at the site level, you can search against all journals; if you are browsing a specific journal, you will only be able to search against that particular journal.

  • The "Font Size" block allows you to increase or decrease the entire website's font size.

1.2. Journal-Specific Interface Elements

There are a number of interface elements that are only seen when you are browsing at the journal level.

1.2.1. Journal-Specific Top Navigation Bar Elements

When browsing at the journal level, the topmost navigation bar includes two extra links by default:

Figure 2.7. A Journal Navigation Bar

A Journal Navigation Bar

  • The Current link takes you to the table of contents of the most-recently published issue. If the journal has no current material published, the page you see when clicking the link will say so.

  • The Archives link takes you to a listing of all published issues, including the most-recently published issue. You will be able to visit each issues' table of contents by clicking the issue title.


Sometimes you may see even more links in the topmost navigation bar. For example, you may see an Announcements link, which will take you to a page containing journal-specific announcements. The Jounal Manager may also have created custom links to appear here, taking you to specific pages within the system, or even to other websites (see Journal Setup for more information). Neither the Announcements link nor the custom links are on by default.

1.2.2. Journal-Specific Sidebar Elements

You will notice some new sidebar blocks when browsing at the journal level:

Figure 2.8. A Journal's Sidebar

A Journal's Sidebar

  • The "Notifications" block allows you to manage and view your journal-specific notifications.

  • The "Subscription" block will only appear for subscription journals, and display information about the user's account.

  • The "Browse" block allows you to browse lists of journal content. You can browse by Issue, Author and Title. Additionally, if you click the Other Journals link, you will be brought to the site-level journal list.

  • The "Information" block displays the For Readers, For Authors, and For Librarians links. The content for these pages is added in the Journal Setup. If the content is deleted, these links will automatically disappear.